Clothes Dryer Venting

23 responses

  1. Solomon A Copeland
    November 20, 2012

    I just recently discovered that the exhaust vent to the place I purchased was actually going to a bucket in my unit. I live in Hawaii. What would be your best advice on how to deal with this issue?

    • Tim Carter
      January 6, 2013

      Solomon, your question require lots of typing and I have some questions for you. You should consider investing in a 15-Minute Consult with me. Look at my cart for that. Lot's to discuss. I just do short pithy answers here.

  2. Ami
    February 26, 2013

    When it rains our under ground dryer vent pipe is filing with water and our clothes won't dry. We can't really figure out where the leak is, but seems to fill up quickly. Is it possible for the dryer to be vented through the roof as well as under ground? It just seems as though it fills up to quickly for the leak to be in the pipe under ground because it would need time to soak into the dirt.

  3. Kyle Gegorski
    January 11, 2015

    Hi Tim,

    We have our washer and dryer on our first floor off of the kitchen. I am moving our washer and dryer downstairs to the basement. I want to tie into the original dryer vent that goes from the upstairs to the outside. I want to instal a 4 inch T- piece to connect to that duct work and also put a damper at the T- piece to shut off the air flow to the original of the upstairs line. Is this a good idea? Or could this be a fire hazard? Also, can you purchase 4 inch T pieces that have dampers already installed? Please let me know your thoughts when you have a chance. Thanks!

    Kyle Gegorski

    • Tim Carter
      January 13, 2015

      This is a bad idea. ABANDON it. Install new metal duct that exits to the exterior as fast as possible from the basement with the fewest 90-degree bends as possible. READ the installation instructions that came with the dryer. Get them online.

  4. Jun
    January 19, 2015

    Hi Tim,
    You were exactly right about avoid installing the dryer-vent termination cap in a soffit overhang under a roof. The builder put the cap like that in my house and some mold has appeared in the attic. My laundry is on the second floor. Is there a easy way to fix this vent cap problem? Is there a specific type of cap that I can use to fit the original design without the moist going back to the attic. Will seal off part of the soffit near the vent solve he problem?

    • Tim Carter
      January 19, 2015

      Jun, Nutone / Broan make excellent roof and side wall termination caps for this exact purpose.

      • Jun
        January 19, 2015

        Hi Tim,
        Do you have a specific model to recommend? Do I need to open a new exit on the wall or I can still use the old hold and put a new vent cap on.

  5. Gene
    May 30, 2015

    I found that in a home with forced hot air heat which makes the air very dry venting inside worked well. It recovered the heat and added needed moisture. I used a second filter to trap the lint which the dryer filter always lets through. I only did this during winter heating months. I used a simple diverter valve to switch to the outside vent path during non-heating months.

  6. Charlene
    September 28, 2015

    Can a exhaust fan for laundry room be connected to my dryer vent before it goes outside? This is the set up in my condo.It doesnt seem safe to me.

  7. Julia
    March 8, 2016

    Our one-story home was built in 2000 and the dryer vents to the roof. When we moved into the home, the inspector said we might want to have the vent cleaned, which we did. The vent cleaner said there was hardly anything in there, and our problem was that there are lots of elbows in the venting and it works against gravity to go all the way to the roof. After the cleaning, our dryer still took at least 160 minutes to dry our clothes! We even traded dryers with someone so we could have a timer that went above 30 minutes.

    When we lived in an apartment with the vent right outside the wall, it took 60 minutes or less. Tonight, I wanted to know if our dryer was the problem or the vent was the problem, so I disconnected the dryer from the vent hose, opened the door to the garage (which is connected to the laundry room), and ran a load. Everything dried in 60 minutes!

    It has been a year-and-a-half since we had our vent cleaned, so we were about to call someone to come out again, but we are wondering if this is a lost cause. Our plumber friend suggested we vent to the outside of our house, but he doesn't do that kind of work. It would need to run briefly through the garage (under the hot water heater) and then through the brick wall. Do you suggest doing this? Who would do this kind of work well? And can we run through the stand that our hot water heater tank is on, or is there important machinery under there? We plan to get a tankless water heater in about 6 years, and I'm hoping to have a laundry solution before then. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  8. Sean
    April 10, 2016

    Our 15 year-old house has its washer and dryer hookups on the 2nd floor. We noticed that there was a ton of heat coming out of the light fixture in the pantry just below it every time the dryer was running. The house had mold problems in the past but it was professionally taken care of and passed a thorough inspection before we purchased it. However, anything involving moisture is going to concern us. Is there a diagnostic test I can do to see if there's a hole in the duct, or if it's a matter of just cleaning it out?

  9. Linda
    May 24, 2016

    Really Need Advice. I live in a 4 Unit Apartment in Ohio. I have been here 10 years and usually the landlord is pretty good about fixing problems. Even when they include "problem" tenants. It is mostly low income with subsidized rents, including a portion of mine.

    There is a common washer and dryer in the basement for tenants and NONE of the units are set up for washer/dryer in the unit. The tenant downstairs from me has a washer and dryer she is running in her apartment. No, I have not seen it but I hear the unmistakable sound of the washer from my bathroom every time it is run. Also I have been getting blasts of hot air coming from under my bathroom sink along with BLUE dryer lint coming into my apartment from every available opening in my bathroom and kitchen (ie: where the pipes enter through the wall and where the heating comes in).

    This is not a tenant I can go talk with. Even the Person who works for the landlord cleaning common areas and such is afraid to talk to her. I tried to let the landlord know my suspicions when my bathroom window started collecting condensation between the double panes where I cannot clean. Unfortunately he called her and asked her about it so of course she said no she wasn't. I think he went in once to see but I hear her and her friend moving something (portable washer?) across the floor right before the wash/ dry starts.

    My question is this: the condensation has not dried in between the 2 panes of window for months and now there is what I can only describe as blackish mold growing there. My apartment is constantly coated in BLUE dust (dryer lint). I have the only unit with a GAS STOVE. What can I use to plug all the holes the lint is coming through until I can move? And how real is the threat of fire since it appears she is venting the dryer to the inside of the wall?

    I already know how much of a health hazard this is as I have been put on two very strong inhalers. My lungs are reacting like I have COPD and Asthma at the same time but I have neither of these. Its an allergic reaction.

    I just want to try to prevent a fire until I can get to a safer place(already went through one due to Arson 2 years ago).
    Any suggestions on plugging out some of the lint?

  10. Tricia
    August 16, 2016

    We had an outdoor gas line (to our dryer) leak and had to replace some pipe. My husband decided to do the pipe work himself to save the $600 the plumber wanted to charge. I just went outside to look at the work and the gas pipe now runs about 2 inches below the bottom of the dryer vent. We haven't connected the dryer up yet, but when we do, warm, moist air will be flowing all over that gas pipe. Is this safe? Should we insulate the pipe in that area? We live in weather-less coastal southern California, so pretty much never a freezing issue. But don't suppose it would be a good idea to run the dryer first thing in the morning above a really cold pipe, on the coldest day of the year? Any advice appreciated:-)

  11. Jose
    January 10, 2017

    I know it may sound a little crazy, but do I connect the vent from the dryer to the drain pipe of the washer machine? I do not have a way to exhaust the dryer through the roof or a side wall and hate those water traps/boxes. Any ideas?

    • Tim Carter
      January 10, 2017


      It's not crazy. The dryer exhaust air MUST BE vented to the outside of your home. Even a cast (poured) concrete wall can be drilled to create the 4.25-inch hole that's required for the exhaust vent hood. The indoor exhaust boxes are no good because they put too much humidity into your home and it can cause mildew and wood rot. CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK to get the best vent hood cover known to man.

  12. Daniel L. Pelzl
    January 11, 2017

    Why is galvanized pipe better than aluminum or ABS?

  13. Ted
    January 11, 2017

    Hi Tim,
    We live in a sixty three year old brick bungalow, just east of Toronto. When we moved in, I replaced the silly plastic duct with ridgit metal ducts and chose to use only one 90 degree elbow and double 45 degree fittings for the rests of the bends.

    Here is my concern now. My basement is unfinished and my waster heater is naturally aspirated, as well, my furnace is a power vented mid-efficiency unit, that uses room air for combustion. Over the years we have sealed up drafts in the house, changed the windows from the old wooden single glazed, etc. ya da, ya da. I know the house is tighter, as if we run the range hood exhaust fan on anything faster than two, we can over power the furnace flue fan and cause it to backdraft. (Both the furnace and HWT are vented into a stainless steel lined chimney flue.)
    I figure that when we replace the furnace and HWT soon, they will both be replaced with high efficiency unit, that have their own combustion air. The concern with the dryer, is that it will put the house into negitive pressure and slow the drying time. My idea is to put an air intake vent in the outside wall (far enough from the dryer exhaust that it doesn't suck in the exhausted air.) and terminate the supply air duct at the back of the dryer. I would put a backdraft damper in it and possibly a electrical controlled damper in that would be tied to the dryer.

    Do you think that this would make a difference, of using outside air to dry the cloths instead of warn, conditioned air?

  14. Ceci
    April 21, 2017

    Hello Tim, our new house is being built, initially they had the dryer vent, I think going into the attic, I'm not sure if though the roof or not, but it passed the inspection while framed. Today a week before we move in, it failed the inspection so now my builder has this long pipe going through the garage, a few inches above the floor all the way to the backyard though the wall. The vent is really close to the ground on a grass area. I'm freaking out about pests (snakes or baby snakes) going in there. Should I ask him to move it higher? Have the pipe going under the ceiling? I will die if I see a snake in the house. We are in the Dallas area, not a lot snow around here, some ice storms, some snow every year. Very hot climate.

    • Tim Carter
      April 21, 2017


      It's unacceptable how the vent was run. You need to pay attention to the MAXIMUM pipe run allowed by the dryer manufacturer AND it needs to be up where pests can't get in. Get out the dryer installation instructions and READ about how the vent must be installed.

      You MUST INSTALL the vent cover I show above. GO BACK UP and click that link and buy one NOW. They're fantastic and NO PESTS WILL GET IN if you make sure it's free of lint all the time.

      • Ceci
        April 22, 2017

        Thank you for your reply! I did send the picture of that vent hood to my builder. Apparently we had our vent going into the attic and out through the roof (we have concrete tile roof). The inspector said they had 2 fires in our city, caused by dryer pipe going through the attic (I'm not sure about the details of it) therefore he is making builders change them. Our pipe now is through the garage and it is about 15' -18' long (I think). The pipe sits right above the baseboard and the vent outside about a foot from the grass. I rather take a chance of having a fire than a snake in the house.Our house is by a Golf Course. I'm still wondering how the 2 fires they had recently, suddenly became a problem, enough to change safety rules. Many people are complaining about this new inspector. Apparently a big jerk. Our builder has been building houses for over 20 years, never had a problem.

      • Dee Dee Sewell
        April 25, 2017

        Our dryer was vented into our carport but now we are in the process of closing in our carport and making a den and lage indoor storage closet. I was thinking maybe we could run some type of vent down from the vent which is about two feet off the ground (our slab is high due to a slope in the lot) Anyway, I was thinking we could run a vent froom the existing vent opening, down to the baseboard and over to the side of the now closed in carport. We could create a vent opening there. It would be about 12 feet. What type of material should we use for the vent and is this a safe idea.

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